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Untangling α-synuclein

MJFF has a multi-pronged approach to solve which α-synuclein species causes PD

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF) wants to settle the question of what form of α-synuclein drives the pathology of Parkinson's disease. To make sure the data hold up in different labs using different methods, the Foundation is funding parallel projects with multiple teams. Its goal is to get answers within two years, but if it only comes away with better assays, the organization will still consider the money well spent.

Part of the problem in creating therapies against α-synuclein is that several different forms exist - including monomeric, oligomeric, glycosylated and phosphorylated species - but little is known about which ones contribute to the disease, according to Kuldip Dave, director of research programs at MJFF.

Aggregates of the protein, which constitute about 90% of the Lewy bodies that are hallmarks of PD, have been associated

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